The newest home run hitter of the Minnesota Vikings will be on the practice field today in Mankato, Minnesota, as running back Adrian Peterson and the team has come to terms. The first-round draft choice signed a five-year, $40.5 million dollar deal with the Vikings on Sunday. Peterson was the 7th overall choice in April’s NFL Draft, and is expected to add a solid 1-2 punch to the Vikings backfield with last year’s leading rusher – Chester Taylor.
Peterson stands 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, and has the size and speed to become a breakout back in the NFL. Despite missing five training camp sessions, look for the Oklahoma back to step right in and have an immediate impact for the Vikings, who are counting on the rookie and Taylor to take some of the pressure off of second-year QB Tavaris Jackson. Taylor could use Peterson’s help as well, as despite rushing for 1,214 yards in 2006, he wore down as the teams feature back, and by the end of the season looked spent. With Peterson able to take a few carries each week, the Peterson-Taylor combo could become the next Reggie Bush-Deuce McCallister type combo that currently plays in New Orleans.
The back also showed toughness after suffering collarbone and ankle injuries in his college career at Oklahoma. He ran for 4,045 yards in three seasons at the school, and this after missing much of his sophomore season with injuries. Taylor knows how bad the Vikings need a back like Peterson, despite it taking some carries away from him. “It’s about time,” Taylor said. “We need him out there so we can groove our offense even better with him coming back. So I’m just looking forward to him taking the field.”